Munich cancels Christmas market after 12 killed in bombing

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Organisers say this year’s tradition has been forced to end early because of security fears

Munich’s famed Christmas market has been cancelled again amid concerns for public safety following an explosion that killed 12 people and injured more than 50 in the city on Monday.

Jürgen Thür, spokesman for the Berliner Märkten regional branch of the police force, said: “Our goals at this time are to reduce the risk and to provide security at that market.

“We don’t think it’s possible to bring all markets under one umbrella. We will only bring back Christmas markets with high security and well-defined measures.”

Munich Christmas market bomber set off 3kg blast, explosion claims Read more

The 21 December market, at Breitscheidplatz, has been brought forward by 14 days to 6 December, he said.

“It’s a Christmas tradition of the city that has been cancelled,” Thür said.

Politicians and security services repeatedly have called for Christmas markets around the world to be investigated more closely after three attacks in 2016, where perpetrators struck there.

Thür said police were working closely with civil protection services and other state security agencies to examine security possibilities.

Thür declined to give any further details but said: “The bomb-maker of the attack was highly professional, and there will be multiple security measures in place.”

The decision to cancel the Christmas market was made together with the city government, the Munich’s cantonal police force and the federal prosecution service, Thür said.

Flowers and notes are laid near the memorial to the victims of Monday’s explosion, in the Marienplatz square, near Breitscheidplatz. Photograph: Tormod Mauch/DPA/AP

On Tuesday morning, holiday shoppers, city workers and visitors watched from their balconies as candles, flowers and messages were laid at the site of the explosion in the ethnically-diverse district of Kreuzberg.

The explosion took place as thousands of people gathered in the streets for a market, first started in 1891, that features wooden stalls selling Christmas trees, paper cutouts of nativity scenes and crafts, and bread with warm spices.

Police said the cause of the explosion was unclear, but speculation about the scene’s proximity to a nearby psychiatric hospital prompted fears that the dead were victims of a copycat attack.

President Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible bombing in Germany. We are with you, we love you, and we will never, ever allow radical Islamic terrorism to succeed.

“My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible bombing in Germany. We are with you, we love you, and we will never, ever allow radical Islamic terrorism to succeed,” Trump said in a tweet.

Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the explosion, which happened outside an electrical appliance store, was the result of an “artistic act”.

At a late-night press conference, police did not give any further details on the suspicious device found close to the scene of the blast.

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